Niles councilman pleads not guilty to traffic violation

Staff report


Niles Councilman Edward S. McCormick pleaded not guilty to operating a motor vehicle impaired stemming from a traffic crash Aug. 24 on Pratt Street.

McCormick, 59, of Elm Court, a Democrat, has been 4th Ward councilman since 2007. He entered his plea earlier this week in Niles Municipal Court.

McCormick was traveling south on Pratt and was attempting a right turn on Park Avenue when he struck a pickup truck, police said.

A Niles patrolman said he arrived on the scene at 7:19 p.m. and found McCormick talking to ambulance personnel. The officer said he could smell alcohol on the councilman’s breath.

McCormick was unsteady on his feet and had to be helped to the cruiser for field-sobriety testing, according to police.

He failed part of the test and could not keep his balance while being given instructions for another part of the test, police said. He was taken to the police department, where a breath-analysis test indicated he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.228, which is nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08.

McCormick also is charged with making an improper right turn and was considered at fault in the accident.

McCormick admitted drinking all day, including beer and whiskey at a Niles club, police said.

McCormick was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired and other offenses by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for an accident in February 1998, but the OVI charge was reduced to reckless operation in Warren Municipal Court.

McCormick is on the November ballot for re-election to his council position. He has no opponent.

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